Willehad Eilers also works under the pseudonym Wayne Horse. Beginning his career in the German graffiti scene, Eilers later went on to graduate from the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam (NL) before attending the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam (NL). His eclectic body of work is distinctive for its lyrical quality, playful humour, and expressiveness. Describing his practice as an investigation of the heuristically learnt political and cultural mores that define contemporary society, Eilers gently nudges us towards a poetic realisation of our social selves through his highly performative range of paintings, installations, videos, and drawings. Infused with a mischievous, effortless confidence, Eilers’ crude-style works offer us anthropological insight into his observations of the flawed human condition and its perpetual evolution. He unflinchingly presents us with images that convey the disposition of the modern individual towards grotesque, even masturbatory obsessions. He assails the quotidian situations that we are familiar with and renders them unrecognisable.
"Schwanzwald", Willehad Eilers’ fourth solo exhibition at Harlan Levey Projects, invites the viewer on a party-fueled trip to the Black Forest. A popular tourist destination in the Southwest of Germany, the region is particularly known for its dense forests and traditional culture. For Eilers, the Black Forest is “the most German thing imaginable”. In his universe, the area that directly inspired many of the brothers Grimm’s famous stories thus becomes the perfect stage for a dark fairytale spin-off on excess and German identity.
Installation shots by Adriaan Hauwaert